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High Desert Band: Creature Comforts

CD Review


Kick off your cowboy boots and throw on your dancin' shoes. With some bands, the music demands that you set aside your BMW-driving, 9-to-5, pent-up personality for a little guitar-pluckin', finger-lickin', toe-tappin', taters-in-your-stew-style sing-a-long songs. High Desert Band's Creature Comforts is the type of music to get you out dancing with your kids.

The group is comprised of vintage upright bass player and singer Cathy Bourner, songwriter and mandolin player Jerry Firth, guitarist and songwriter Randy Helton, as well as tag-team fiddlers Kayleigh Jack and Dave Daley. Harmonizing by the whole team gives a barbershop quartet feel to the heavy fiddle folk songs.

Songs like "Makin' Noise," with a chorus of "Well I'd honk, toot, squawk, hoot and growl / then haul off and hoot like a big ole' owl" and the mid-song Donald Duck impression, are sure to get little ones singing and stompin', learning the words easily. It makes for a great family chorus on a car ride. "The Road Less Traveled" mentions leaving Boise (the "big city") by name and talks about taking the slow road to anywhere at all.

For "Owyhee Miner's Lament," the gang pulled the lyrics out of an antique newspaper from the late 1800s, creating their own arrangement and melody courtesy of Firth. Later the CD gives the band's version of "Froggie Went a-Courtin'" and ends with the most original "All My Groupies," a slapstick rendition of the band's supporters: "Everybody knows / all my groupies wear support hose."